For many years now, German development cooperation actors have been using sport as an instrument for mobilisation, awareness-raising and integration. The goal is to establish sport as a tool in the long-term structure of development cooperation. GIZ is implementing various initiatives using sport for development on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Priority areas comprise substantive and strategic policy advisory services, the development of Germany’s contribution to using sport for development with long-term national and international positioning, research support, and monitoring and evaluation for analysing lessons learned and measuring impact. Measures are being implemented in selected partner countries (currently Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, Namibia and the Palestinian territories).
In these countries, GIZ is working with partners from the world of organised sport such as the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), the German Football Association (DFB) and local partner organisations. Together, they are developing participatory methods and teaching and learning materials for using sport to aid the achievement of development goals. One such teaching and learning resource is the Kicking Youth Competencies manual on the use of sport to develop the skills of young people in the Palestinian territories. Targeted training is being provided to multipliers and teaching staff, for example female sports teachers at girls’ schools in Afghanistan.
Sport can be used as a means of acquiring new partners for German development cooperation. GIZ is working with governmental and non-governmental organisations, stakeholders form the worlds of sport, civil society, policy-making and business, and international organisations that are already using sport effectively to promote young people’s development.
Afghanistan and Namibia. Project work here focuses on efforts to strengthen the position of girls and young women. Working with the Afghan Ministry of Education, it has trained almost 100 male and female sports teachers at girls’ schools, and developed a specialist school curriculum. The construction of a girls’ centre on the premises of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) in Windhoek has created development opportunities for girls and young women. The centre provides a safe space for engaging in sports activities and learning. The portfolio is rounded off with tourism training, delivered in cooperation with partners from the business sector. Sports such as football and basketball are being used for a range of purposes, including health education and HIV prevention, and linked with life skills training.
Colombia and Brazil. Initiatives in Colombia focus on violence prevention, peaceful conflict resolution and the reintegration of internally displaced persons. A manual has been developed specially to support social reconciliation through sport. To date, 100 teachers and 160 coaches have been trained, and 15 women and men have passed their instructor training qualification. Some 15,000 children and young people have been reached through these efforts. Work is also underway in Brazil on violence prevention and youth promotion, especially in high risk schools and disadvantaged neighbourhoods, where around 30,000 children and young people have so far benefited from the initiatives.
Palestinian territories. Sport is being employed as a means of promoting vocational education and training, and preparing people for the job market. The initiative is designed to increase the appeal of vocational education and training, thereby supporting other vocational training programmes and units of German development cooperation. When used knowledgeably, sport can serve as a means of training people in personal and social skills (soft skills) such as teamwork, communication and decision-making, all of which are foundational for professional development. The programme has reached over 2,000 young people to date through different summer schools.
Britta Heidemann, a successful German fencer, is supporting the development priorities of BMZ and DOSB in her role as a Sport for Development ambassador. She is using her profile to raise awareness of sport and sustainable development, both among the public and within the world of sport. For example, Heidemann visited German development cooperation sports projects during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and reported on them in the media. In 2016, she promoted sport as a panel member of BMZ’s Forum for the Future.